Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV OVERVIEW
The Cadillac Escalade ESV is the most spacious of the Escalade family. It is 21 inches longer than the Escalade and offers up to 137.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, with the second folded and the third row removed. With all the same elements and features as the standard Escalade, the ESV model provides an additional eight-inch flip-down screen for third-row passengers.
What's New for 2014
As an all-new 2015 Escalade appears in dealer showrooms, Cadillac made few changes to the 2014 line. The only new feature this year is an exterior color: Midnight Plum Metallic.
Choosing Your Cadillac Escalade ESV
Your first choice is between the outgoing 2014 model and the new 2015 model. Those who opt for the 2014 might prefer its styling—or the idea of getting a luxury SUV for a bargain price.
The extended-length ESV is powered by 6.2-liter V8 that makes 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. The engine features Active Fuel Management, which deactivates half of the cylinders under light loads for increased fuel economy.
The Escalade's V8 delivers modest fuel economy numbers of 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway for rear-wheel-drive versions or 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway for four-wheel drive models. Unlike many upscale competitors, though, the Escalade ESV runs on regular-grade gasoline instead of premium. The big Caddy also accepts E85 blend.
You can order any model with four-wheel drive, but we argue against the added expense and weight unless you live far off the beaten path, or in an area with inclement weather.
The Escalade ESV is available in four trim levels: